11/25/08                                                                                       View Comments

Never again will I voluntarily set foot in a church

Sent in by Elizabeth

I accidentally stumbled across this website while I was Googling the Duggar family, and I have been browsing on here for the last four hours. I am intrigued because I had no idea that so many people shared the same frustrations as I do. I was raised in a strict Church of Christ home. For those of you not familiar with the COC, it is a small denomination of Christianity primarily concentrated in the South. Each congregation is independently owned and operated.

The denomination has several colleges, including Lipscomb University in Nashville and Harding University in Arkansas. Funny story about that: When I was 17 a lady at church asked me if I would be attending one of the COC colleges. I replied, "No ma'am, I'm going to a REAL college".

I was never given a choice as to whether I wanted to attend church or not, and was forced to do so three times a week (plus youth group activities) until I left for college. As a child, my mom's favorite punishment consisted of forcing me to write scriptures over and over again pertaining to whatever sin I had committed. By the time I turned 16, I hated attending services so much that I was punished by having my car or allowance taken away if I was late or failed to show up all together.

Going along with that, I guess as an adolescent I started to notice that I was questioning things a lot more than my peers and did not feel passionately about evangelism as they did. Curiously, as I began to seek out answers for myself, I began to learn some interesting facts. For example, statistically, the higher one's education level is, the lower is their rate of church attendance. Also, hearing the famous quote from Karl Marx about religion being the opiate of the masses pretty much sealed the deal for me. There is no possible way that the closed-minded and conservative way I was raised could be the only correct way to live and believe. COC circles are way too small for the rest of the world's population to be doomed.

In short, at age 18 I had a heart-to-heart with my parents explaining that I would never again voluntarily set foot in a church, and I haven't. I am now 24 years old.

Sorry this is so long, thanks for reading.

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